For several years now the F.A.Premier League have taken an
active part in supporting Nordoff Robins, a charity established to help sick
children and adults through music therapy covering over 50,000 music therapy
sessions every year in care homes, day centres, hospitals an schools.
Each year Nordoff Robins host the Football Extravaganza – an
event attended by the great and the good of football in support of this
charity. This year especially, the F.A.Premier League wanted to make a special
commitment to coincide with the Premier League’s 20 seasons celebrations.
Working in association with Nordoff Robins and The
F.A.Premier League., Milton Keynes design agency Deep Red Creative and
specialist sports suppliers Sportsframe were commissioned to come up with a
concept to help with this special celebration.
What they came up with was a very specialised edition - A
book with a print run of just three and specifically for Nordoff Robins, which
would then be auctioned at the event. The theme centred on the 20 seasons and
was dedicated to the 20 players and managers who had most influenced the League
over that time. Each individual had a spread dedicated to them with their
performances and honours on one side, which was then personally messaged and
signed by the player or manager. A specially created image would then be designed
to sit alongside.
Quickly, the Premier league and Nordoff Robins established a
guest only committee to mull over who they felt best deserved to be in the
elite list of 20 names.
Deep Red Creative set out to create the design of the book
itself and appointed Buckingham printers BCQ to work with them on this
prestigious project. BCQ proved invaluable in coming up with creative solutions
in terms of binding, cover stock and text pages. The cover would be buckrum
covered on a 600ml board with text pages on 160gsm Acquerello Avorio from Fedrigoni
. The design element involved the players names being de-bossed into the linen
with the title ’Twenty icons’ and the Premier League 20 seasons logo gold
foiled above and below the names. Maltby’s Bookbinders based in Oxford were
entrusted with the production, binding and finishing of the book.
The race was then on to not only create the images but also
the text pages. Time was a factor and the prospect of a finished book going
through so many hands to be signed by the 20 individuals was too much of a
logistical nightmare to be considered.
The solution was to print the pages as flat sheets and then rivet them
as a mobile document which the players could then sign. With names such as
David Beckham, Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Eric Cantona
all out of the country the logistics of getting these sheets signed and
returned within the set deadline date was demanding to say the least. Thierry
Henry spent some time kindly signing his batch, before setting off to New York,
taking the pages with him! Nordoff Robins committee member and Sky Sports
reporter Geoff Shreeves was tasked with going to Madrid for the Mourinho and
The preference was for the books to stay as consistent as
possible in terms of appearance which meant a request from F.A. Premier League
Planning and Projects Director Peta Bistany that players and managers commit to
the same message with each of their pages. Conformity has never been part of
Eric Cantona’s personality and he treated each page as his own personal canvas
with three original, but different messages and doodles.
The whole process of co-ordinating production schedules,
arranging approvals of all statistics and signing off of proofs was
co-ordinated by Deep Red’s Account Director Sarah Mammatt and BCQ’s Stuart
Coote. The delivery and picking up of signed pages and their protection was to
say the least, a fairly stressful exercise!
In the mean time there was the small matter of producing 20
separate player and manager images in the Deep Red studio. Creative Director
Don Mammatt was tasked with creating the images and the strategy was to make
them the same but different! Don Mammatt explains.
“We knew that this was a collection so it would have been
wrong to have worked in a fashion where the images were too radically different
to each other, so we wanted to retain a general style and then where we felt it
was appropriate would look to inject elements of a players personality or
character. All the files were created in Adobe Photoshop and I’ve lost count of
the elements of layers within each file and even the number of drafts created
as we just worked toward a solution we would be happy with. Part of the process
is just shutting your eyes from what you’ve done for a couple of days before
going back in and asking yourself – ‘am I still going to happy with this in 6
months time?’. Of course you can’t create something that will be universally
liked but it was important that we would be happy with it and in terms of the football
community and of course the purchaser, that it best represented those
Ultimately between Deep Red and F.A.Premier League’s Peta
Bistany, approval and sign-off of all the images was achieved before the files
were sent to BCQ for production and print.
Slowly but surely the project was coming together. Maltby’s
had the right hand pages with all the individual images and the text pages
complete with player messages and signatures. All apart from David Beckham’s
which had been delayed coming from Los Angeles. The schedule of the project
meant any delay would have prevented the books being ready for delivery for the
Football Extravaganza event. Maltby’s took the decision to pre bind the book
and ultimately found a solution to the problem through a ‘tipping in’ process
where the remaining page was glued in post production.
All 3 books complete with a specially designed and produced
sleeve to the same finish and spec as the book covers, arrived at the Deep Red
studio in Milton Keynes a day before the big event.
To see more work from us, visit www.deepredcreative.com